Archives for posts with tag: monroe county history museum

So the other day I was working at the dining table while Rahul was making dinner. Suddenly there’s a sort of scream from the kitchen, I look up, and there is a giant sheet of flame roaring up from one of the pots on the stove. All the smoke alarms in the house start screeching, of course, adding to the general air of panic and confusion as we tried to find a lid to stop the flame–I grabbed one and gave it to him, it turned out to be too small and just kind of dropped neatly into the pot, where the flames shot up all around it and the plastic lid handle started to melt; I ran and got the fire extinguisher, we balked at actually using it and getting foam all over the kitchen; and eventually we found the actual lid for the pot and clamped it down on top to stop the flames.

We have cathedral ceilings, so the smoke alarms are really hard to reach and turn off, so Rahul ended up batting one of the madly beeping alarms off the ceiling with a broom handle like he was hitting a home run. Cursing madly, we carried the pot (leaking dirty gray smoke) outside to our balcony and put it down on a pallet that we’d conveniently retrieved while dumpster diving (thank God we had it, instead of having to put the pot directly on the balcony, because the heat of it permanently burned a round black circle into the wood.)

Rahul lifted the lid off the pot, thinking the fire had surely smothered itself by that time, and a giant fireball shot out of the pot, reinvigorated by the sudden burst of oxygen, and narrowly missing burning off his eyebrows.

Then this morning, I figured I would make a bagel with peanut butter for breakfast. (Our friend Jason used to run a bagel shop in Long Island, and he gave us a bunch of frozen bagels from there that have been sitting in our freezer and providing us with delicious bagelly sustenance for weeks.) I heated up the oven, put the bagels on a cookie sheet (we don’t have a toaster) and went into the other room. About ten minutes later, Rahul yelled, “I smell smoke!”

“What? Really?” I had put them into a cold oven, not a preheated one, and I usually toast them for at least 15 minutes before taking them out. 10 minutes seemed way too early for it to burn.

But I opened the oven door and a cloud of extremely stinky smoke billowed out. I grabbed the bagel sheet and pulled it out and said, “It’s not the bagel!” The bagel itself was toasted to golden-brown perfection. Instead, for some reason, there was a tea light in the bottom of the oven, leaking molten, smoky wax all over the oven floor.

We couldn’t figure out how it had gotten in there, and thought perhaps it somehow got stuck to the bottom of the cookie sheet when it was on the table. Anyway, the house is full of horrible, smelly wax smoke, it’s cold because all the windows are open to ventilate the house, and I ended up eating Kroger brand potato salad for breakfast because Rahul said the delicious-looking wax-smoked bagel might poison me.

I think we must have offended the kitchen gods somehow. I am normally a confident mistress of that domain, but things are seriously not going well between us and the kitchen at the moment. At the very least, we cooked a very delicious meal the night the pot caught fire–wild morels scavenged from the woods and sauteed in butter, fagioli all’uccelletto (sort of, anyway–pinto beans with garlic, sage, tomatoes, bay leaf, and olive oil cooked in our new hand-me-down crock pot until meltingly tender), orzo, skillet cornbread…

Anyway, with all that excitement, I’m so glad I have a new project on the needles. A very simple, soothing, what-could-possibly-go-wrong sort of project: a Scrunchable Scarf made of some two-ply, worsted-weight handspun–the roving was labeled as Cotswold-Angora-Bamboo-Angelina but may have been mislabeled, as there is definitely no sign of glitz and the roving appeared to be a pretty uniform gray fluff. I dyed it with Kool-Aid to an overall sort of raspberry color (intended to have a more varied, hand-painted, look, but it’s OK, it’s nice anyway), cast on 21 stitches, and got started with the k2-p1 ad infinitum.

No matter how much I love the look of knitting acrobatics and show-off patterns, I love the process of knitting simple ribbed or brioche scarves–so relaxing and easy. This one is coming out sproingy and cushy and very rustic-looking–I didn’t spin it very evenly, and the yarn is pretty woolly and fuzzy anyway, so it almost looks like a boucle yarn when knit up, full of little lumps and bumps.

I also made myself a little chart to see how the farrow rib pattern used in the Scrunchable Scarf differs from one of my other favorite stitch patterns, mistake rib.

Farrow rib (*k2, p1* over a multiple of 3 stitches):

Mistake rib (*k2, p2*, ending with k2, p1, over a multiple of 4 sts + 3):


They both contain a column of moss stitch (alternating knit and purl) and columns of knit and purl stitches, but the farrow rib has some adjacent knit and purl columns, while in mistake rib the knit and purl columns are always separated by a column of moss stitch. This emphasizes the rises and dips of the knit and purl columns, while farrow rib comes out flatter because the knits are right next to the purls.

Also, I finished my Rusted Root and made a very pretty dishcloth with the leftovers (such a quick, pretty pattern), went to a knitting art show and MAKS with chemgrrl (she has a full report on her blog; I didn’t take photos because my camera doesn’t work well in low light with no flash) and have already made something really wonderful with my purchase from MAKS. Pictures next time! And I am tons of work and am feeling terribly behind with all the actual important stuff I should be taking care of, responding to emails and working on patterns and such, but hopefully I will have time for that in the next few days as well, assuming the kitchen doesn’t burn down in the meantime.

Since I don’t have photos of actual knitting-related things to show you, instead, here are some more pictures from the Monroe County History Museum. They had an exhibit featuring people’s personal collections. This person collects accordions and accordion-themed objects; here are some of the prizes from their collection.

I would totally vote for Sophia Travis.

Graduation came and went; the keynote speaker was Steve Bellamy, we met various parents and had a buffet lunch, and it was all strangely anticlimactic.

We spent the weekend at parties and lakeside picnics and dumpster diving–that last a particularly depressing lesson in the American Way, as we stared into a dumpster outside a frat house full of lovely solid wood furniture, smashed into pieces and wasted just for the hell of it. Rahul got some scrap wood for arts and crafts projects, and I salvaged a large jug of laundry detergent and almost an entire case of Cup O’ Noodles, the cardboard sleeves damp from the rain or other unspecified dumpster grossness, but the noodles still sealed tight and clean in their styrofoam cups and plastic wrap.

I got a bit of sewing done–no pictures yet, but I do have a lovely new top made of a Japanese bunny print cotton, with little pearly buttons on the yoke, and 4 yards of fabric from the new quilt store in town, Shiisa Quilts. The store is small but welcoming, with a wide selection of pretty, pretty fabrics. Amy Butler, Kaffe Fassett, various other bright, super-modern prints that made Rahul cringe (he strongly prefers the subtle 1800’s-style florals and calicos).

They have a whole section of really nice clearance fabrics, all $4 a yard–I have 2 yards of a Martha Negley Rowan/Westminster print, burgundy striped with tree trunks, and 2 yards of an eggplant and white Japanese print of dragonflies. Both were intended for skirts, but I saw this tutorial for a smocked dress and just might try it. There’s this one, too, using elastic thread on the bobbin. I am not sure this will be a particularly flattering look on me, but it seems like a nice, easy way to make a comfy summer sundress.

On the same theme, here are some photos of the quilt exhibit I went to recently at the Monroe County History Museum. The theme was the juxtaposition of stained glass and quilting (stained glass quilts and cathedral window quilts, specifically).

Stained glass is apparently commonly taught in high school art classes in Southern Indiana. Some of these windows were made by high school kids.

This one is a historic window taken from a farmhouse. I like the simplicity of this piece, the fact that the curators felt that simple rectangular panes of faintly colored glass were worthy of display in a museum alongside saturated, rococo glass pictures of birds and flowers.

The first category of quilts in the display was stained glass quilts, which are basically applique based on stained glass window designs, and finished with black binding around the edges to simulate the leading in stained glass windows.

The second category was cathedral window quilts, which I wasn’t familiar with before. They’re not made like traditional quilts, with a backing, batt, quilting through the layers, and binding around the edges. Instead, they’re hand-sewn, square by square, and due to the way they’re assembled, they’re lightweight, with a naturally presentable wrong side that does not need to be covered with a backing. The background is traditionally made from multiple muslin squares that form a frame for bright little scraps of calico. Most of the quilts in the exhibit fell into this category, and I loved the way they looked.

This photo shows a cathedral window square in progress, and explains the process.

Some quilts had squared-off edges, and others left one side of the squares open to form a pointed edge.

More photos of quilts (mostly blurry) can be found in this Flickr set, in addition to buttons, pewter Vikings, and vintage cars, all of which will be blogged later.

In knitting news, I caved into the allure of summer knitting and have cast on for Rusted Root in bright red Cotlin as my new mindless knitting project. The pattern was a gift, a random act of kindness from the fabulous knottygnome, and the yarn was from a swap for some denim yarn with the fabulous chemgrrl. I’m about halfway through the raglan now, and the fabric is looking kind of floppy and uneven, but I’m hoping that a nice wash and block will sort everything out.

Last but not least, do you live in Indiana? Have you voted? The deadline is 6 PM today!